OKC Thunder bench boss Mark Daigneault earns respect from the National Media

Head coach Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Head coach Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been impressive this season. While many picked the OKC Thunder to finish with 18-20 wins, and cruise their way to NBA Draft Lottery Night with promising odds to land star big man Victor Wembanyama, the Thunder are closer to the NBA Play-in tournament than top odds in the upcoming NBA Draft. This is the status quo for a Mark Daigneault-coached team, each year he has his team fighting harder and playing better than expected each of the three years he has been in charge.

Now the National media is starting to take notice of how good Mark Daigneault is as an NBA head coach. During the NBA midseason media survey, in which polls beat writers from each NBA team to answer various questions related to the season, the OKC Thunder were well represented. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander littered the poll with praise, but the media also gave credit to Daigneault.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are seeing their head coach Mark Daigneault receive well-deserved praise from the National Media at the midway point of this season

The NBA media gave Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault votes for the question “which coach draws up the best ATOs (AFter timeout plays)?

Mark Daigneault was among Mike Budenholzer, Taylor Jenkins, Nick Nurse, Gregg Popovich, and Monty Williams as those receiving votes. The breakdown at the top-ranked Steve Kerr as the best (21 percent), Rick Carlisle, Jason Kidd, Ty Lue, and Erik Spoelstra all tied for second place with ten percent of the vote.

According to Synergy, the Oklahoma City Thunder rank in the 67th percentile in After Time Out offense, posting 0.966 points per possession, and have had 614 such possessions so far this season.

Mark Daigneault has been underrated since the day he stepped foot in Bricktown, but a coaches value is never fully put on display and understood by fans and media until it is seen in the game-to-game nature of the playoffs. However, the actions and sets the OKC Thunder run to put their young guys in a position to succeed are unmatched especially compared to fellow developmental teams.

Next. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ranked 2nd on Most Improved Player list by NBA Media. dark